Though the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive was immensely successful in North America, there are still quite a number of games that remained in Japan for a variety of reasons. This list is meant to elucidate some interesting titles that never left the shores of Japan. This is by no means a definitive list and these are not necessarily the 10 best Japan-only Genesis games, but they are simply games that I personally had a positive experience with.
As a kid, I was a somewhat late adopter of the Game Boy, despite being an avid gamer from age 2, when my older cousin taught me how to play games on the Sega Genesis and SNES. My only previous experience with the Game Boy was playing Baseball and Tetris on my uncle’s system during car trips with my cousin.
I even had a Game Gear before Nintendo’s much more affordable and kid-friendly handheld. That all changed one fateful Christmas in 1998, when due to some sort of miscommunication, I recieve BOTH a Game Boy Pocket, from my aunt, and the brand new Game Boy Color, from my parents.
With the systems, I received Pokemon Red, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, Pocket Bomberman, and Wario Land II. With these games and the battery life of TWO Game Boys, I finally had experienced true, untethered, handheld gaming.
As I slowly, but surely worked my way through the games in my fledgling collection, I noticed there was a glaring hole in my Game Boy library: I did not have a Mario game! To temporarily fill this void, I borrowed a game from my friend, that game was Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
The Game Gear, SEGA’s answer to the almighty Game Boy; with true 8-bit color graphics, a backlit screen and the innards of a SEGA Master System, it outclassed the Game Boy’s technical specifications by miles. With an adapter, sold separately of course, it even had access to the Master System’s library… What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lack of first party support by SEGA with regards to original games, higher price tag than the Game Boy, and the Game Gear’s unquenchable thirst for its required 6 AA batteries helped expedite its demise; but does it have any great games? The answer is a resounding yes.
I’ve spent many a year tethered to my electrical outlet via the Game Gear’s short AC adapter playing the likes of Streets of Rage, Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Chaos, Ren and Stimpy: Quest for the Shaven Yak, and the shameless, yet incredibly fun Castlevania clone, Master of Darkness. There were however some gems I missed out on; that is, until I revisited the Game Gear as an adult. One of these games is The G.G. Shinobi II: Silent Fury.
I just wanted to give an update for what is going on with the site. I am very busy with work during the holidays, but managed to finish 70-80% of two different articles. The review portion of one is 100% complete, and I considered releasing it, but it is not a complete resource.
This means I will be resuming my regular release schedule of every Friday, starting next week.
I also received a Nintendo Switch with Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a Christmas present from my wife. With that said here is a list of games I am playing at the moment:
Mario Odyssey (Switch)
Langrisser II (Genesis, pictured above)
Shinobi II: Silent Fury (Game Gear)
Snatcher (Sega CD)
All four of these games are legitimately incredible and I would suggest picking up or emulating them as soon as possible. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and made some great game pick ups. I look forward to a busy 2018, with hopes of growing the site exponentially.